As part of their 50th wedding anniversary celebration, my parents decided to revisit some of their favorite sights in Europe. I was able to join them on this adventure. It was an unforgettable trip, filled with spectacular sights. It also involved driving a massive rental Vauxhall station wagon along the extremely narrow roads of the English countryside. That’s a story for another time. Today I’d like to share with you our amazing visit to Salzburg, Austria. I’m glad to have you along on this recollection of our marvelous experience.
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Trains and Taxis
Our preferred method of transport while on the continent was by train using our EurRail pass.
We arrived in Salzburg from Vienna and took a taxi to our hotel. Conveniently located near the Mirabell Gardens, we were also within walking distance of Old Town Salzburg. I was excited to go exploring!
Our Salzburg Digs
Goldene’s Theater Hotel Salzburg was our home away from home for two nights. The rooms were comfortable, but the main reason we chose to stay in this hotel was its location. Although the vintage exterior was charming, we really spent very little time there. If you ever visit Salzburg, I would definitely recommend this hotel. It made an ideal home base for us in between outings.
The Hills Are Alive…With Underground Garages
On our first walk to Old Town, I was surprised to see a parking garage built into the side of a mountain.
It was a very good use of space, and I’m not sure why I was so surprised. The Parkgarage Linzer Gasse was a busy place, even early in the morning, when we ventured out.
Strolling through the Mirabell Gardens
I was completely unprepared for the many delights of the Mirabell Gardens. Of course, as a big Sound of Music movie fan, I recognized many of the locations from scenes in the film.
I marveled at the exquisite flower beds and whimsical garden statuary. I think I had the most fun running around trying to recreate and visualize scenes from the movie. My parents, good sports that they are, indulged my personal Sound of Music fanfest. Which scene happened on the stairs in this photo?
A Fun Secret Find
While I was exploring the gardens, I chanced upon an unexpected treasure. The Mirabell Palace, which was built in 1606, now houses municipal offices. It was open to the public, so I went in. The Palace also houses a beautiful wedding venue, the famous Marble Hall. Leading up to the Marble Hall is another famous architectural feature, the Angel Staircase.
It was near the bottom of the Angel Staircase I came upon a wonder almost too unbelievable to be true. I had discovered a lovely little bathroom. It might seem strange, but trust me, this was a great find. If you are intrigued by interesting bathrooms discovered on travels, take a look at my post about memorable foreign bathrooms. I’m always on the lookout for them.
Your Forever Love Locked on a Bridge
After pulling myself away from my fabulous bathroom discovery, it was time to journey into Old Town Salzburg. Along the way, we crossed the Salzach River on a charming footbridge.
As we walked over the river, I was astounded by the number of padlocks fastened to the bridge. I had never before witnessed so many padlocks symbolizing lasting love. I couldn’t resist taking a picture. Is this a tradition where you live?
The Towering Fortress
Old Town Salzburg is dominated by the Hohensalzburg Fortress. It was initially constructed in 1077, and has been added to over the years.
The best way to get to the Fortress is by riding the funicular. A tour is also included in the price of a ticket. For information about pricing and operating hours, visit one of the Fortress websites. The view from the fortress is spectacular. One highlight for me was sighting, off in the distance, the mansion which was used in the filming of the Sound of Music. Remember the famous scene where the kids and Maria fall out of a boat? This is the grand estate, the Palace at Leopoldskron.
Reliving Famous Salzburg Movie Scenes
Of course, while in the neighborhood, we just had to journey to the site of another famous scene in the movie. We strolled around the side of the hill to Nonnberg Abbey. Once again, my parents indulged my desire for a photo opportunity as I stood at the gate where the von Trapp kids piteously pleaded to see Maria.
I also took a photo of the escape route taken by the caretakers car. I was thrilled!
Oh Yes, That Other Musician of Salzburg
This is embarrassing to admit, but I nearly forgot to mention the other notable music star of Salzburg, Mozart. Yes, we paid a visit to Mozart’s birthplace.
Located in Old Town, the Hagenauer Haus museum is a must-see, especially for Mozart fans.
One Essential Tourist Tip for Sound of Music Fans
Now, I certainly appreciate the talent of Mozart, but I had the Sound of Music on my mind as we sat down to dinner the evening of our adventurous day. We were seated family-style at a restaurant, with people we didn’t know. The song “Raindrops on Roses” was tripping through my brain when the lady sitting across from me asked, “What do you think of Salzburg?” I responded, “Oh, I love all of the music.” She nodded her head and said, “Ah, Mozart,” with a smile. Quickly I replied, “Oh, yes, Mozart.” Really, I had been thinking of the musical numbers of Rodgers and Hammerstein, but was certainly not going to admit it. I got the feeling that Austrians do not share the same appreciation for the Sound of Music as they do for Mozart. This might be a good thing to keep in mind if you ever visit.
Goodbye to Salzburg and My Favorite Garden Statuary
Before departing Salzburg the next day, I had to pay another visit to the beautiful Mirabell Gardens. As the morning sunlight shone on a courtyard near an entrance to the Mirabell Palace, I happened to notice two stone lions. Stone lions, in my experience, usually look quite fierce. These lions were not fierce.
They each appeared to be enjoying the morning sunshine as much as I was. I immediately felt a kinship with those lions, and wish the photos I took did them justice.
They became my favorite garden statuary of all time. Plus, they were located not too far from the entrance to my favorite secret bathroom, which I had to visit one more time as well. Goodbye, dear Salzburg. I hope I get to visit you again one day.
Do You Have a Favorite Travel Destination?
In addition to traveling myself, I enjoy reading about the travel adventures of others. Do you have a favorite destination you would like to recommend? I’d appreciate knowing about it. If you like what you’ve read today, you might also like reading about scenic Glacier National Park or my visit to historic Timberline Lodge. For some simple travel wardrobe ideas, you can check out my post listing Wardrobe Essentials for the Savvy Traveler.
Wherever your journeys take you, I hope you make wonderful memories. Thanks for visiting the Fluxing Well site. If you would like to receive the latest posts before they are shared anywhere else, consider subscribing. Happy travels!